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eighthsamurai Profile
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Camera & Photography Tips


I just can't get it right. It might be my camera or more likely it's my shoddy picture-taking skills.

Taking a picture of figs for me is like trying to shave a superhero symbol into your pubic hair, emoticon you have an idea of how awesome the final thing should be, how you're going to achieve it and what things you should be careful of. But the end product never looks anything like it should - not enough clarity, blurred bits, overall crapness that you would be ashamed and embarassed to show anyone, even the creepy old lady next door that keeps offering you toffee apples if you'll show her your toffee apples. Not even she's going to be impressed.

Anyway, I'm really interested to see what cameras you guys have. Please post pics if you can (i.e. if you have 2 cameras or a mirror).

I already know what edwint and master monkey use - a shoebox with grease paper on one side with a hole in it. Stapled to the pick of destiny, a four leaf clover, a leprechaun, a piece of devil's horn, david copperfield's wand (the other wand!), siegfried and roy's tiger's foot and a voodoo priest (it's the only way their pics can possibly turn out so good).

Last edited by Kaido, 5/4/2011, 5:16 pm


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7/10/2007, 3:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to eighthsamurai   Send PM to eighthsamurai
 
kazukiJuN Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


[sign in to see URL] make Edwint & Master Monkey sound like some super photography pose cult masters. But you gotta give it to them both, they really are masters!

Heres a tutorial on figure photography
[sign in to see URL]

Im using a Panasonice Lumix FX7, its a few yrs old already and Im thinking of getting a better cam. Cant show u any pics, cos Im at work now hehe.

Other things to lookout for during figure photography
1- white balance settings, learning how to adjust white balance is crucial to getting the colours right on a photograph, do a search on the internet for more in depth tutorials.

2- ISO settings for your camera is very important. The higer the ISO the brighter the image will be, but it will result in more noise. I usually use a standard setting of ISO 100, which should be sufficient for most figure photography

3- Shutter Speed - The slower the shutter speed the more light the camera will capture when the shot is taken. The faster the shutter speed, less light will be captured when the shot is taken. If u cant afford lightings or don't know where to buy them(like myself) I recommand using the lowest shutter speed settings, so that your figure will be bright and not too dark. But if its too bright, that means you need to adjust your shutter speed settings to a slightly faster one.

4- Tripod, timer and multi shot functions. Having a tripod helps to stabilise the camera, very useful to prevent blur/shakey shots. If u dun have a tripod, use something such as a thick book or the medicom boxes to support your camera. Using the timer settings can also prevent any shakey and blur shots.

Unfortunately, some shots will have to rely on your hands alone. This is the time when multi-shot will prove useful. usually a multi shot will take around 3 to 5 images depending on your camera and how long u press the shutter button. Chances are out of the 5 images at least 2 will be clear images.

5- Macro settings(represented by a flower on most cameras) -Always use a Macro settings for close up shots, so that the picture will not come up blur.

Lastly, always remember to focus before you press the shutter button. This is to ensure sharp and clear pictures.

Another useful tool is, learn how to use photo editing software such as adobe photoshop, they can do wonders to your photos.

Disclaimer: the above listed points, are what I have learned through tutorials on the internet. Im no expert and am still learning on how to improve my photography [sign in to see URL] trial and error, and search for tutorials on the net and Im sure you can achieve the kind of photos that you want in no time emoticon May the force be with you!!!

Last edited by kazukiJuN, 7/11/2007, 12:41 am


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eighthsamurai Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


jun, thank you sooo much for those hints and tips - very very useful. now i just need a camera that will let me change most of those settings. my crappy old casio exilim just doesn't cut it anymore and doesn't have many of those features. are you using an SLR camera?

Last edited by eighthsamurai, 7/11/2007, 12:57 am


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7/11/2007, 12:46 am Link to this post Send Email to eighthsamurai   Send PM to eighthsamurai
 
kazukiJuN Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


Nope, Im using a point and shoot camera only. Still find it too expensive to invest in a SLR but Im thinking of moving to a pro-consumer Camera.

Professional photographers will tell u that SLRs is a endless black hole, it will keep sucking your money. Cos you have to buy so many different type of lenses for different type of shots. Its worst than getting addicted to Medicoms.
Yah, so no point putting myself into another blackhole, since Im already stucked with the Medicom Blackhole.



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13NasH Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


Here's a pic of Coheteboy's set up from SSF. Just an idea of how to set up lighting or a backdrop with your stuff.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--


Also important:

1. TRIPOD!!!!
2. Macro Mode set on your cam (usually a flower icon like in super mario)
3. If using fluorescent lights like in the pic above, change the "white balance" on your cam to either Tungsten or Auto.
4. Try not to use flash

Last edited by 13NasH, 7/13/2007, 4:27 pm


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Medi-World Collectible Forum
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Master Monkey Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


quote:

eighthsamurai wrote:

I just can't get it right. It might be my camera or more likely it's my shoddy picture-taking skills.

Taking a picture of figs for me is like trying to shave a superhero symbol into your pubic hair, emoticon you have an idea of how awesome the final thing should be, how you're going to achieve it and what things you should be careful of. But the end product never looks anything like it should - not enough clarity, blurred bits, overall crapness that you would be ashamed and embarassed to show anyone, even the creepy old lady next door that keeps offering you toffee apples if you'll show her your toffee apples. Not even she's going to be impressed.

Anyway, I'm really interested to see what cameras you guys have. Please post pics if you can (i.e. if you have 2 cameras or a mirror).

I already know what edwint and master monkey use - a shoebox with grease paper on one side with a hole in it. Stapled to the pick of destiny, a four leaf clover, a leprechaun, a piece of devil's horn, david copperfield's wand (the other wand!), siegfried and roy's tiger's foot and a voodoo priest (it's the only way their pics can possibly turn out so good).



HAHA! wow. I also do a rain dance and sacrifice a virgin goat for every shoot as well! Poor little guys. But the Medi gods must be satiated.

Thank you for the compliment.

The other guys have already given some solid advice here. SLRs are probably unnecessary unless you are really into it and need complete control and specialization. I just spent a small fortune on some new lenses and it hurts a little to know my point and shoot can pretty much do anything my SLR can with all its lenses combined. Current point and shoots really rival some of the best pro cameras out there in terms of picture quality and versatility.

But I love my SLR and its the reason any photo I take turns out decent. I'm just an amatuer, but the right tools can go a long way. My exact tools I use that make it fun and easy-

1. Slik SPRINT PRO 3-WAY Tripod- Necessary for that clear perfect shot. This one is small and light and very versatile.
--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--
2. Canon Remote Switch RS60 E3- Goes hand in hand with the tripod for necessary picture clarity. Using the timer works as well, but this takes out the wait. Any time you touch that camera on a slow shutter speed, its going to cause blur.
--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--
3. Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash- Lighting setups are nice, but too big or not as portable and versatile enough. A flash directly at the subject can have negative effects. But an external directional flash can give the perfect lighting when bounced and/or diffused.
--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--
4. Adobe Photoshop- Dont be ashamed to touch up your photos or even alter them completely altogether. Its fun and can make a huge difference.
--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

If you are interested, I can also share info on my camera and lenses as well, but that may be overkill! Most current cameras are all great. These listed items are helpful , but they are in the end just luxury items that can be substituted with some ingenuity and patience.

But the number one key point of advice I can't stress enough- Take TONS and TONS of pictures. For example, I posted a ]picture of Darth Callous' Maul head. The photo is not even anything spectacular, but for that single simple shot, I took around 25 photos just for that pose alone. I slightly changed the settings and framing between shots, just experimenting. I move them to my computer, blow them up full size and pick the best one. Most of them were utter crap. When you take enough, you get lucky and will have a few that you like.
 :eatdrink

Posted in some other areas, but the only pic I have of my camera, not very helpful for what you are looking for but the 1/6 camera is so cool! (taken with a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T50)

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

Last edited by Master Monkey, 7/16/2007, 4:09 am


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kazukiJuN Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


Hyw Master Monkey,
I'm interested to know about the camera you use [sign in to see URL] to share some info on them?

Btw, great tips!!!

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7/16/2007, 4:30 am Link to this post Send Email to kazukiJuN   Send PM to kazukiJuN
 
Master Monkey Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


quote:

kazukiJuN wrote:

Hyw Master Monkey,
I'm interested to know about the camera you use [sign in to see URL] to share some info on them?

Btw, great tips!!!



Sure! I'd love to share. i have a feeling this might be a little long, but I will do my best.

Pretty much all the gear I use is Canon. I've been using the brand since I was a kid so it's what I know, its proven, and IMHO has the best lens selection.

This stuff isn't as pricey as the top of the line pro stuff, but its not the kind of investment you would want to make if you are just tinkering around. I would say this is mid-range stuff. You can get basically just as good as results with some of the cheaper lenses out there as well. You need a pretty sharp eye to notice the difference in everyday photos.

 In addition to the stuff mentioned above, heres my current setup:

1. Digital Rebel XT 8MP (EOS 350D)-
 Had this for years now. Not the most up to date model, but is by no means dated. It provides everything you need as a photographer, and this body is often used by the more frugal professional photographers. It captures great images(even in RAW format), easy interface- ISO and WB can be changed with the touch of a button. It is compatible with most of Canon's lenses offered. Awesome quality for the price. If you are fairly serious, I recommend buying just the body and not as a kit. The lenses that are put with the kits are the lowest and cheapest quality that they manufacture. Poor clarity and parts. To use it limits the quality that your camera can take, you probably couldn't even sell it to break even. At that price point, you are just hurting your pictures with that lens. You could buy a point and shoot for that much that has a better lens built into it.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

2. EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Zoom Lens- Probably the worst lens I own in terms of quality and image clarity, but it offers great zoom for a cheap price. I use this lens the least, but its adequate for the times I need to shoot something very far away.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

3. EF-S 10-22mm f/[sign in to see URL] USM- A very cool wide angle lens. This thing can take such wide angle shots, its almost like a fish eye when zoomed all the way out at 10mm. You could stand on the same sidewalk as a 10 story building, point straight at it, and have the whole thing in frame. Fantastic for outdoor and urban photos. Not so useful for shooting figures.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

4. EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM- The most fun lens I own. This is not a telephoto lens, meaning there is no zoom, so you have to move the camera nearer or farther to get the desired framing you want. But this thing is the sharpest lens I own and can take a picture of scrathes on a coin. Scratches you cannot see with your naked eye! Its also a wonderful portrait lens. With its short depth of field, it will make your subject extremely crisp and sharp and the background softly blurred. Also works great as an everyday run around the town taking snap shots lens.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

5. EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM- The best of the bunch. If i could only own one, it would be this one. In fact, don't buy any of these until you get this one first. This one is just simply the most versatile of all. It takes extremely sharp photos and has good range. Also since it can open all the way to 2.8, it is a very fast lens and can take great low light shots. Ontop of that, it has image stabilization function which makes a world of difference. Great for portraits, great for upclose, outdoor, action shots, you name it. It is just as good if not better than many of Canon's top of the line L series lenses that cost many times more. This is my everyday lens and is used probably 85% of the time I am taking photos.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

6. Lens Hoods- Lenses arent cheap, and should be considered the most important element to your whole setup. So I make sure to buy each lens its corresponding lens hood. This not only eliminates lens glare, it will protect your lens from direct front end damage if you were to get bumped into a wall or maybe even dropped it on the lens. I have three lens hoods for my three good lenses. I got the Canon ones as they fit the best and will for sure not disrupt the photos. This is the hood for the 17-55mm f/2.8 lens. These things cost around 40 bucks, but if it can save my $800+ lens, I think its a good idea.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

7. UV Lens Filters- Same purpose as the lens hood. These things not only reduce glare and help get clear photos, it protects the glass on your lens. It also keeps dust out. I've had many great photographers advise me not to skimp out on the lens filters. Buy the good ones. Your filter should be as good or better than your lens. Anything less is taking away from your picture quality. The salesman will try to throw in some filters for a sweet deal, but dont bite. He's giving you junk. Buy the best you can. I use Heliopan filters. Hoya makes good ones as well, but make sure they are the 'Pro 1' line. Make sure they are double coated and the thin versions if you are using anything wide angle. I've never scratched a lens, but I'd much rather scratch one of these than the actual glass on the lens.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

8. Flash Diffuser I use a diffuser for my flash called the Lightsphere II. Its made by a guy named Gary Fong. It will illuminate a room with soft light in ways that a flash could never do. Its great for portraits and indoor photography. A little big and silly looking though.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

9. Be prepared!- I keep an extra charged battery and an extra memory card with my camera at all times. Also extra batteries for my flash. Its a terrible feeling to have a battery run out on you in the middle of a shoot, especially if there are people depending on you or waiting for you.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

10. Camera Bag- Finally you want a nice sturdy bag to hold all your junk! I have one bag like this one that can fit everything I have into it. This is great for traveling or going on-site to shoot. Everything you need right there. I also have a smaller bag that is only big enough to fit my camera with a single lens attached. This is great for a quick day trip and you want to keep your camera safe.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

Whew! Thats probably too much info! Hope you didnt fall asleep. But feel free to ask for more detail about that stuff or photography in general. Im no pro, but I love it! Probably more than my medicoms haha.

Here is a website which is very fun to play on and also very very informative. They have photo competitions all the time with different requirements and objectives. Very creative stuff.

But thats not the cool part:You can search any camera and any lens and see photos taken by photographers using those exact ones! You can even see how many members own that lens. Sadly it doesnt have examples for everything, but most of the major ones are covered.

Here is one of my lenses-
[url=[sign in to see URL]


Last edited by Master Monkey, 7/16/2007, 7:07 am


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kazukiJuN Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


[sign in to see URL] never knew they had a flash diffuser.

And the number of lenses...
[sign in to see URL] my main gripe with SLRs, u gotta spent more money on them.

btw, is there any pro-consumer camera by canon that u would recommand?

Cos I dont think Im ready to jump straight to SLR yet...

hope Im not boring u with the questions.

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eighthsamurai Profile
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Re: I want pics of your cameras...


nash, master monkey, thanks so much for the posts - that is some awesome advice. i learnt quite a bit. i think i'll have to find me a decent point and click cam, with maybe a tripod and some lights and the remote thing is also cool.

btw nash, not forgetting you. your pics of the SS jedi made me buy a lot of those suckers even though i vowed i wouldn't go anywhere near them. thanks a lot emoticon and ... thanks a lot :speederbike

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